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Multiple children home during fire that killed 7-year-old girl

WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. logo WUSA-TV Washington, D.C. 3 days ago Laura Wainman, Megan Rivers, Brielle Ashford, Tom Dempsey
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Dozens of firefighters were canvassing a Northwest, D.C. neighborhood Wednesday morning after tragedy struck Quebec Place. A 7-year-old girl died after being pulled from a burning home on the street Tuesday afternoon. Officials say numerous other children were rescued from the house at the time of the fire. 

The blaze broke out on the 700 block of Quebec Place on Tuesday afternoon, according to DC Fire and EMS. Chief John Donnelly said the girl died after being transported to a nearby hospital for her injuries. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

According to Donnelly, the girl was in the house with adult family members and several other children when the smoke detectors went off. Donnelly said when firefighters arrived the adults were evacuating the children with the help of neighbors. 

"For fire prevention activities, it's really important to remember that some detectors aren't the save-all," Donnelly said. "You've got to talk about your exit plan, you've got to talk about rendezvous points, and look for ways to prevent the fire in the first place." 

DC Fire & EMS crews returned to Quebec Place Wednesday to check smoke detector functionality in the neighborhood, and offer fire safety talks for any interested residents. 

RELATED: 7-year-old girl dead after house fire in NW DC

WUSA9's Megan Rivers spoke to Min. Simms at the scene, who identified himself as the uncle of the 7-year-old who died. Simms said the child is survived by her mother, father and 10 siblings, including a twin sister. 

"She was the most precious little girl," Simms said. 

Donnelly could not give exact numbers on how many people were evacuated from the home, and said he believed some of the children in the home were siblings, and others may have been cousins. 

"I just heard screaming outside, and then me and my roommate ran outside and saw them coming out of the house," neighbor Will Letchinger said.

a little boy posing for a picture © Provided by WUSA-TV Washington, D.C.

The fire caused significant damage to the 2nd floor of the three-story home, according to Donnelly, but it did not extend to nearby homes. Chief Donnelly said some light smoke caused residents in surrounding buildings to evacuate, but he believed they would be able to return later in the day.

Following the fire, the community stepped in to help. Some neighbors cleared debris outside the house, while others joined a donation drive for the family. 

"We’ve already all gotten together on an email chain so we can figure out how to provide for our neighbors on the block," Letchinger said. "We’re hoping that we can at least provide some things in the next few hours and next few days.”

The Red Cross has also stepped in to help the family. A GoFundMe has been created to help the family with relocation and rebuilding costs. 

According to Donnelly, this is the 11th fire death of the year in the District, and the second involving a child.

"We wake up every day thinking how to keep our kids safe from the predictable things," Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau said. "So something like this, so tragic, this family is going to be recovering forever, if they do.”

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